Kurt Zadek Lewin, a German-American psychologist was one of the modern pioneers of applied psychology. He is much famous for his Force Field Analysis theory. Lewin’s Force Field Analysis is a commanding tool in the Change Management history. It is used to comprehend what we need for change in both corporate and personal environments.
Kurt Lewin Force Field Analysis Steps: Kurt Lewin’s approach to changing behaviors consists of carefully managing and guiding change through a three-step process:
- Step 1: Unfreezing
- Step 2: Moving
- Step 3 :Refreezing
Step 1: Unfreezing: Unfreezing usually involves reducing those forces maintaining the organization’s behavior at its present level. Unfreezing is sometimes accomplished by introducing information to show discrepancies between behaviors desired by employees and behaviors they currently exhibit. This might be done through the use of process consultation or survey feedback as specific change approaches. The unfreezing stage can be thought of as an attempt to prepare the system for change by reducing the resisting forces. It enables the equilibrium point in the current system can be more easily and comfortably shifted to a new equilibrium point in the desired system. As such, this stage is primarily concerned with overcoming resistance to change.
Step 2: Moving: The moving stage involves the use of a variety of interventions or change approaches to shift the organization’s behavior to a new level. It involves developing new behaviors, values, and attitudes through changes in organizational structures and processes. Depending upon the specific goals and strategies of the change effort, any of the change approaches might be used here. In terms of force field analysis, the moving stage is the equivalent of increasing the driving forces or pressures for change. The final step, refreezing, stabilizes the organization’s behavior at a new state of equilibrium.
Step 3 :Refreezing: Refreezing thus represents the institutionalization of change, in which the new equilibrium point becomes the new status quo for the organization. Refreezing is frequently accomplished through the use of supporting mechanisms that reinforce the new organizational state. These states include organizational culture, norms, policies, and structures. Specific change approaches that might be manifest here include socio-technical systems, and matrix or network organization design, among others. The key is that the change has largely been made when the refreezing stage is reached, and the important factors in the organization at this point are those that help to maintain the changed behavior within the system. Thus, there will be less emphasis on change approaches and more emphasis on structures and processes that maintain the change.
Change process proposed by Kurt Lewin force field analysis is great tool for strategic management.